Updated: Apr 9, 2019
In mature markets, finding a meaningful point of difference using a product attribute, rational or emotional benefit is becoming increasingly difficult.
Some brands have been building a social purpose in a bid to differentiate themselves and drive consumer relevance and loyalty. But not all brands have credentials or the long-term commitment to take an authentic stance on social purpose and as a result, we have seen some pretty spectacular fails as brands try and support a space they have no right to play in. Sadly, some brands efforts have tainted consumers beliefs that brands are acting with the right intentions for the greater good and not the P&L.
So with that said, we welcome the re-emergence of Brand Personality as the new meaningful point of difference.
Brand personality can be more than the four adjectives you put at the top of your pyramid or on the bottom of your creative brief.
If you think about it, a person’s personality is a reflection of their unique traits and a key indicator of how real and authentic they are. A person’s personality will define how much we like them or love them and how much they mean to us. And most importantly, a person’s personality and how consistent it is will determine how much we trust them.
UNIQUE, AUTHENTIC, MEANINGFUL, TRUSTWORTHY
Four adjectives we often use as we build brand propositions and brand purpose. Four attributes we aspire our brands to stand for.
Brand Personality can be used as a strategic priority to help your brand stand out from your competitors, connect with consumers and build trust. Especially if you don’t have a lot of new news or distinctive functional or emotional benefits to talk about.
Some tips for doing this effectively:
Connect your brand personality to a core category driver
For Brand Personality to be a driver of long term sales and equity growth, you must attach your personality to something that drives consumer behaviour, ie a category driver. K-mart and Aldi have both been hugely successful in connecting their unique and distinctive brand personalities to the core category driver of value, building an envious following of devoted customers and advocates. These brands have made their customers feel smart about shopping in their stores and proud to share this with others.
Be unapologetic in what your brand stands for and how it behaves
If there is one brand that has been loud and proud about what it stands for and how it behaves, it is KFC. With other fast food brands trying to differentiate with gourmet products, healthier options or table service, KFC has focused on its core range of fried chicken, chips and gravy but done it with such a distinctive tone of voice and confident personality. And as per the point above, they have attached this personality to the core category driver of crave-ability! If the brand is unapologetic about how it delivers to the crave factor, why should you feel guilty about consuming it? We all deserve a Chips & Gravy once in a while!
Hitch your brand to a broader cultural shift, icon or event - in a really bold way
Aligning yourself to a celebrity and borrowing their personality is an easy option but making the right choice is critical, and consumers trust is waning. There are many other options to explore.
Still my favourite outdoor campaign this decade, Streets managed to reinvigorate a bundle of what we in marketing might call ‘Fading Star’ brands. These are brands we all grew up with and have a latent affection for, but with not a lot of new news to talk about from a rational or emotional benefit perspective. A campaign leveraging relevant cultural shifts, sporting events and some iconic movies, coupled with genius copywriting, resulted in a personality and tone of voice that gained a nation’s attention and restored the brand's place in consumer's heart for summers to come.
Don't fake it!
We like to think we can spot when a human is faking or being inconsistent with their personality in an effort to be noticed, liked or loved. As can your consumers, who will quickly spot and call out a brand if they believe they are faking it. So if you choose this strategy- be honest, be authentic and be consistent in your execution.
In today’s cluttered world where finding a meaningful point of difference is becoming increasingly difficult, elevating your brand personality to stand out, connect and build trust may be the strategic lever you need to pull.
Sometimes it is much easier to describe someone else’s personality than your own. So if you would like some help articulating your brands personality, then we would love to be ones to help you. We can be reached on +61418657137 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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